Songs that make me cry

April 16, 2011

OK, so I was reading this article in the Guardian about songs that make people cry: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/apr/08/nick-clegg-songs-make-writers-cry

Inspired by this, here is a small selection of some of the songs that (usually/often) make me cry.

Cocteau Twins – Half Gifts
A lovely, pretty sounding song to describe heartbreak and pain.”That’s what grown ups do”, the way Liz Fraser sings it just sounds so lost to me, like she’s repeating it to herself to convince herself that it’s true. It’s something I tell myself sometimes when I’m sad or confused by the world and when I just want to run home (as in, to my parents’ house) and curl up in my bedroom with my headphones on. Grown ups are meant to act maturely and wisely because that’s just “what they do” but of course it’s not always so easy.

Spiritualized – Broken Heart
Yes, I know, the first choice by the first writer in the Guardian piece, how original of me! This song has always made me cry but my reasons are very different from Dorian Lynskey’s reasons. It’s probably because I heard this at a particularly bad time in my life. I thought I was heartbroken, I wasn’t really. I was more…tired of not feeling loved and tired of feeling so overwhelmingly sad all the time. I think “I’m too busy to be heartbroken” is the line that made me the saddest because I had so much I needed to do at the time and this neverending sadness just seem to paralyze me. I got through but I still try not to listen to this song if I can help it. Disturbing as it sounds, this song also made me sad because listening to it made me imagine what heartbreak might feel like in the future!!

 Kate Bush – This Woman’s Work/Deeper Understanding
Again, there’s a sort of tiredness about This Woman’s Work that makes me feel sad. Or, a weariness rather. The video just makes it even sadder, I can hardly stand to watch the video at all!
I guess the reason I don’t like the new version of Deeper Understanding as much as the version on The Sensual World (I’m sorry Kate Bush! I love you!!) is because the chorus doesn’t soar. I felt that in the original, the computer voice was a kind of…heavenly voice coming to the narrator from the computer. It sounded ghostly enough for me to register it as something other than human. Sometimes just hearing something like “Hello, I know that you’re unhappy” is enough.

Radiohead – No Surprises
Well, I could choose almost any song from OK Computer and a lot of  The Bends and Kid A as these were some of the albums I used to shut myself in my room with and play repeatedly. Climbing Up the Walls used to destroy me but I would say it’s a kind of desperate song rather than a sad song exactly. No Surprises frequently turns up in unexpected places like cafés or bars and I just have to try to zone out for fear of crying! Again, it’s the feeling of giving up, of being so tired and wanting someone to comfort you or at least not to be subjected to any more emotional turmoil. While writing this I suddenly remembered another Radiohead song that I used to cry while listening to: Lozenge of Love. I haven’t heard that song in years so I have no idea if it would still produce the same effect!

Interpol – The New
I listened to this a lot right before going away to university but it’s meant different things to me at different times. I like (if that’s the right word to use?!) the line “I gave a lot to you, I take a lot from you too”. He just sings it in such a worn out sounding way, it’s so sad.

Low – Words
This song is very connected with the video for me as I used to watch the DVD that came with A Lifetime of Temporary Relief over and over again when I was home alone in the flat I shared during my third year of uni. Just hearing the first chords is enough to make me feel a bit wobbly and lost. Again, it was a time when I was so full of sadness (although far less than I was in my first and second years! Progress!) and also hating myself for feeling so sad all the time! “Too many words, too many words” just seemed to sum up how I felt. There were too many words I couldn’t say, too many words I didn’t feel I was able to write, too many negative words being poured into my diaries, and too many words in my own head, telling me again and again that I was a massive failure and that everyone around me was sick of me being such a depressed idiot half the time. It’s a beautiful song though!

Tindersticks – Pretty much their entire first album/Waiting for the Moon
Yeah, it’s hard to choose any one song from the first Tindersticks album, I really do tend to listen to the whole thing in one go. Like The Boatman’s Call it’s a surefire trip to Sadnessville.

Waiting for the Moon, from their album of the same name includes the lovely line: “Ease this raging heart, this raging love. Sometimes it feels like a knife, but not tonight” Even though the lyrics refer to “we”, for some reason this song makes me feel like the protagonist in Bjork’s ‘Hyperballad’ (another song I love which could, at times, go on this list!), like someone trying their best to deal with their sadness at night while everyone else is sleeping so that the people they love don’t have to.

Death Cab for Cutie – Your Heart is an Empty Room
“And all you see is where else you could be”. Dissatisfaction, emotional numbness, but made to sound so beautiful! It’s a really pretty song and I guess, whatever it’s supposed to mean, the lyric I quoted really stands out to me because I’m always struggling with a dissatisfaction with wherever I’m living. Not because of the people I’m there with but because I just never seem to be entirely happy no matter where I am, I’m always longing for that perfect country/city/town where I’ll feel happy and complete. I just haven’t found it yet. I know, it’s a very self-indulgent way to feel. I’m sorry.

Smashing Pumpkins – Perfect
This is the sound of teenage love, unrequited love, endless summers, school, blablabla. I never listened to this song until years after it came out, I had some kind of problem with the Smashing Pumpkins. Then one of my best friends in senior high school made me listen to the Rotten Apples compilation and I got really into them. I don’t know, this song feels like it’s about all the things that never happened and (thanks partly to 1979 companion piece video, which is also excellent) a sadness about things that didn’t go quite the way they maybe should have. It makes me feel like a kind of bruised happiness can come from jadedness or that, even when adult life doesn’t seem to be working out the way we hoped, we should hold on to all the things in life that are  beautiful.

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Into My Arms
In a similar way to Words, this song is sad, but also signifies the opening of the emotional whirlpool that is The Boatman’s Call. I hear this and I think “I’m going to be in tears for the next forty minutes”. This song is so caring and so sweet compared to the bleakness of a lot of the other songs on the album. It’s the sound of someone picking up a broken person and telling them they’ll take care of them. The video is lovely too.

OK, I’m done. Just writing about these songs is making me feel a bit upset! That reminds me of a childrens’ book… I won’t tell you which one, it deserves it’s own blog post actually! I’ll find a picture of the cover and then I’ll write about it!

I left lots of songs out, either because I don’t want to explain why they make me sad or because I can’t think of any good reasons for finding them so upsetting. I left others out because well, there really are an awful lot of songs that make me cry! Billie Holiday, Jeff Buckley, The Cure, Mew, Kings of Convenience, Bjork, Nina Simone, the list could go and on! Then there are songs that don’t normally make me cry but have done due to my hearing them at a very specific time or in a specific place or something.

I was also going to include links to the songs but then I thought: wait a second, these are really sad songs, people shouldn’t be listening to them!! I also worried that people might listen and then think “Wow, these songs are terrible, who could possibly find any emotional meaning whatsoever in stupid songs like these, she is a total idiot!!” So, if you want to listen then feel free to head to youtube/spotify but don’t come back and tell me that you hate the songs or I’ll be very upset! I might cry!

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So I said I’d post some more cherry blossom photos and here they are. I know, I know, after a while they tend to get a little boring no matter how pretty they are. And I can’t really recreate the way it feels when you’re sitting under a canopy of flowers but never mind. Had a  nice hanami (cherry blossom picnic!) on Thursday night, it was really magical when the lights came on as it got dark!

Yeah, cherry blossom season this year made me feel happy and sad too. Happy because, well, the flowers are beautiful you know! Sad because, mm, I guess seeing so many people having happy picnics with family and friends under the trees makes me feel sad that..I’m not more like them or something?! I remember I used to get the same feeling watching people have picnics down by the seafront near my old house (oh wow, I really hope I can say I live by ‘the seafront’ again at some point in the future!). I’d look at them and imagine how happy they were and I’d just feel devastated. I know it’s ridiculous! It’ s not like I’m never happy and who am I to guess how people are feeling?!  Still, the few times I actually had a picnic or outside gathering that seemed to approach that level of happiness I’d spend the half the time thinking something along these lines: “Oh no, oh shit, this is perfect, it can’t last, I’m so happy, I’m too happy, don’t be happy, this will  be over soon, it’ll never be this good ever again shut up shut up” Yup, optimistic me!

So the feeling I’ve been getting this month is similar I guess. I’m sure part of it is that I miss people back home but part of it’s also ’cause I’m such a weird idiot when it comes to friendship. I’m terrified of large groups of people and yet sometimes I go to largish ‘events’ or whatever ’cause I tell myself that it will be fun and I’m just being stupid. It never is though. So on Saturday I went to a cherry blossom picnic with Danny and one of our friends ’cause I wanted to see somewhere new. The blossoms were lovely (of course) but otherwise..as soon as I got there I wanted to leave. You know when you get somewhere and just instantly realise you’re not going to speak to anyone and you don’t want to either? It happens at parties sometimes too  but at least then you can get drunk and go through peoples’ CD/book/magazine collection if you’re really freaking out!

So anyway, instead of running off like I really wanted to (not that I told anyone I wanted to!) we stayed and as soon as I sat down my mind was in SPACE. Left pretty soon and on the way back (I wasn’t alone btw or the next part would probably be even lamer, or not, I’m not sure!!) I walked ahead and started crying. Not a lot, enough so that I could pretend I wasn’t within a minute or so but still…why? I just suddenly felt so, so sad. Partly because I feel like I’m so hopeless at making friends I don’t know how I ever manage to. Partly because I hate myself for listening to people speak for about two seconds and then deciding that I don’t have anything in common with them and that we’ll probably never speak ever again so why should I make any effort and mostly because I wish I was the kind of person who could just..be happier and have nice picnics and meet new people and get on with them in an uncomplicated way. I know that will never ever happen though because my self esteem is like some kind of broken robot that occasionally gets a crazy power surge but otherwise just stumbles along beeping and whirring and bumping into things (and looking really sad obviously!).

Anyway, thinking about all this stuff just made me think about  how great my friends are. Every time I meet someone and speak to them and realise that the horrible block of ICE that I normally find between me and people isn’t there it’s so lovely. It made me want to tell people that they have no idea how happy I am to have met them and how amazing it is that it ever even happened considering what a total idiot I am sometimes and…ah, damn, see, writing this now is making me all teary again! Okokok, wow, and I ended the last blog by saying I wouldn’t overshare again, oops. I’m coming over all livejournal here. So to sum up: Cherry blossoms=strong emotions, I am weird sometimes & I love all my friends, hooray! Next post will be exclusively cute things or funny signs and nothing else!

..and I take a deep breath…

That song makes a rather fantastic karaoke choice btw! I remember seeing 4 Non Blondes on TOTP. I thought they were amaaaazing.

Oh dear..no pictures again. I do apologise, it’s because I’m updating at work and I don’t really like saving my pictures on my work computer. And I am going to write some kind of cherry blossom post this week, I am I am.

So on Tuesday night me and Danny went to see Kings of Convenience. In Osaka. The whole time I lived in Norway they never came to my hometown and I could never afford to go to Oslo or Sweden or wherever so this was the first time I’d ever seen them live! The gig was at Club Quattro near Shinsaibashi station. It’s bigger than Nagoya Club Quattro and the stage is level with the floor so that made things  a bit more intimate. We managed to get pretty much all the way to the front too!

A lady dressed in a rather spectacular lime green suit with hairclips shaped like the Rolling Stones lips logo turned around at one point and asked if I was Norwegian! Not wanting to launch into my whole boring “I was born here..I grew up here…I moved here” story I just said yes and she shook my hand! Maybe she just wanted to shake hands with someone who shared their nationality with the band and who am I to deny anyone little moments of happiness like that! She seemed pleased so I was happy!

The gig was really good! They played most of the songs I was hoping for (Homesick, Me In You, I Don’t Know What I Can Save You From, 24-25, Misread, Failure, Gold in the Air of Summer). Only one they missed out that I really wanted to hear was Parallel Lines. They did ask for requests at one point but I hate shouting so…

I cried a little bit during Gold in the Air of Summer but that was the only time. Other than that it was a pretty happy show really! Erlend Øye got into the audience and danced for I’d Rather Dance with You..at one point they got the audience singing (just oooh’s and aaah’s) and it actually sounded kind of cool!

Danny pointed out afterwards that being so close made it a little hard to know where to look. They even mentioned this themselves, saying how nice it was to be able to distinguish lots of faces in the crowd, rather than just seeing a huge audience shaped mass. I’m glad we weren’t in the middle, right at the front though as then I really wouldn’t have known where to look! As it was I spent a lot of time looking at their hands playing guitar, they are awfully good!

I am so lame that before the show I’d made two little origami envelopes with origami cranes inside and little notes. Don’t really know why! I gave them to their sound guy (I’ve forgotten his name, nooo, sorry!) to give to them.

We actually managed to get back home afterwards too! It was quite a long train trip but I like traveling on trains at night. I kept thinking ‘I wish I had a magical free railpass that I could use to go aaaanywhere’. One that I could use on Limited Express trains. I almost never take them because they’re too expensive but oh, they’re so much better. Listened to music most of the way back, including:

Low- Words/Breaker/Hatchet

Röyksopp- This Must Be It/Vision One

Bloc Party-So Here We Are/Blue Light

Radiohead-Black Star

Hadn’t listened to Low for aaages actually. Or Black Star. The line ‘I keep falling over/I keep passing out/When I see a face like you’ still makes me feel so sad.

Enough of that though, I have an assembly to go to. Will I understand a thing? No of course not! Never mind. The weather is lovely and that means hanami later on!

It was just like Christmas

December 28, 2009

Here are some little Christmas photos:

First Christmas in Japan/away from home. It was nice but also strange. Tried not to think too much about childhood and stuff…preparing for Christmas did make me feel like a grown up but not a real grown up..I can’t make my own mince pies and stuffing yet it seems. Although I am quite good at making vegetable pies.

Other Christmas things: Gremlins is scarier than I thought, I seem to have stared a Licca/Jenny doll collection, Bob Dylan’s Christmas album is really great, O Holy Night/Just Like Christmas/Deilig er den Himmel Blaa all have the power to make me cry for varying reasons.

Otherwise: watched Moon. it was good! I thought it would be scary but it wasn’t. It was sad! It did give me cosmic angst but not as much as Sunshine. Also, Modern Family is good! it’s a nice mix of funny, sarcastic and heartwarming. And lastly, Helen Kane is really really awesome.